Episode#47 – The Stop Doing List

The Stop Doing List

by Matt Malauf


The book in one sentence

Work smarter, not harder.


My personal opinion

There is not much to say about this book I guess (in a positive way). The title already brings it to the point: stop doing things which makes you less effective.

Matt Malouf covers various topics regarding effectiveness e.g. having the right mindset or how to delegate tasks. In each chapter he equips you with several tools and ideas to become more effective.

I really like the first part of the book where Matt Malouf explains the concept of the Stop Doing list. Becoming effective is nothing you can achieve immediately. It is more a marathon than a sprint. Or as Matt Malouf frames it: “No business can change overnight. Often it requires a series of small steps, beginning with the owner changing their mindest and implementing changes to the way they work.”

The book is very encouraging to systemise your business which goes along with the public saying “work smarter, not harder.” And that is definitely a good idea! 😉


To whom I would recommend this book

The Stop Doing List is a basic good read for everyone who wants to become more effective in her or his life.

After reviewing it for my blog, more or less two years after I read it for the first time, I would say it makes sense to remind yourself of the basic concepts every 6 to 12 months. Daily work can distract you again and again from becoming the most effective version of yourself.

Especially after you took a new challenge like a new job or new role at your current company it makes sense to recap the Stop Doing List by Matt Malouf.


What I learned from this book

  • “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Unknown but often misattributed to Albert Einstein
  • “Correct Mindsets x Effective Actions = Amazing Results”
  • Effectiveness is achieved step by step.
  • To achieve something you never achieved before, you have to do things you never did before. So be curious, be open and be brave!
  • Leave your comfort zone and enter your personal learning zone.
  • Delegate tasks but keep in mind: 1) clearly explain what you expect, 2) train the person how you want it done and 3) have a system for accountability and reporting in place.
  • “The biggest killer of implementation is being busy in the day-to-day of running and operating your business. Being busy doesn’t make you more money. Being busy  doesn’t serve your customer or clients better. Being busy doesn’t make your life better. The aim is to stop being busy and start focusing on what you love to do and what makes you more money.”
  • Saying No with confidence: 1) list the pros and cons, 2) actions speak louder than words, 3) if you’re not 100% committed to your answer then ask for more time, 4) calculate the ROI, 5) share your reason for saying No.
  • “Work hard on the right tasks, the most productive and highest-returning tasks, to get results. Don’t fall into the trap of equating success with having the biggest to-do list: less is more.”
  • Recognise the 80/20 principle: 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions.
  • “In life, we often think we can do no more. But when we are creative we find that there is always room for us to fill.”
  • Evaluate your to-dos in terms of 1) urgent and important, 2) not urgent and important, 3) urgent and not important and 4) not urgent and not important.
  • Work in your genius zone.
  • The five keys to successful training: 1) hire for attitude, train for skill, 2) slow down to speed up, 3) check in on progress, 4) implement a simple scoreboard and 5) measure progress.
  • What to cover in trainings: 1) define success and the benefits, 2) define failure and the costs, 3) the dos and don’ts, 4) the clear recipe for success, 5) be prepared e.g. being aware of the most common obstacles and 6) clear communication and deadlines.
  • In order to systemise your business you have to write down why, what, when, where, who and how you do each task, process and activity.
  • Leverage checklists (take a look on The Checklist Manifesto).
  • Recap your days: 1) What did you accomplish today? 2) Did you achieve everything that was scheduled to be completed today? 3) Is there anything you need help with or do you have any questions?
  • Recap your weeks: 1) What was your brightest moment of the week? 2) What was your biggest challenge of the week? 3) What did you learn in the last week? 4) Based on the week gone by I believe we should STOP doing… 5) Based on the week gone I believe we should START doing… 6) I need your help with…
  • Great managers are: motivated, motivating, confident, knowledgeable, respectful, trusting, direct and honest, flexible and adaptable, grateful.


Want to read this book?

Check it out on Amazon.com – The Stop Doing List by Matt Malouf



Thanks to the publisher for printing such a great book!